Ok this is my first post on this site, so I really hope I'm writing this in the right place! (I'm very sorry if I haven't!) I'm 20 years old and have been masturbating since the age of 15, doing so almost daily for the last 3/4 years.
I have for several years now also been suffering from perfectionist related anxiety which basically means that nothing I write, regardless of the grade, is ever good enough. In my eyes it's never quite right of any value and I have suffered from an irrational fear of failure whereby I visualise if my work doesn't continue to improve that ultimately my whole life will spiral out of control. (I know this will all sound fairly ridiculous and irrational, and I know this but sometimes I struggle to escape this mindset). I see myself as more much less intelligent, talented and able than the people around me, regardless of if this is true or not. As a result of this I have a tendency to procrastinate, to delay the time when I have to commit words to paper that I will undeniably hate and most likely delete.
Within this masturbation and pornography has acted as an escape, but also created a terrible self feeding cycle. On the one hand it delays me from having to commit to actual tasks and brings that tiny moment of satisfaction and calm. But it not only uses up time before deadlines which stresses me out, but worse it acts as a justification for my feelings of dissappointment in myself. The fact that I've given in to the urge reinforces my feelings that I'm not good enough, that I should be better. It also makes me feel bad because pornography opposes all the beliefs I believe in, in the 'real world' like feminism and is so lacking the things I consider myself to value and be attracted to in women in real life such as intellegence, physical intimacy, humour, compassion and real beauty. It reduces female just to images and actions. I think there's something quite cold and empty beneath the enticing surface of pornography, I don't know if this is just a personal thing or something other people think...
I should also emphasise that I've never been in a romantic relationship, and that's something which has sort of always played on my mind and made me feel self conscious. I think like a lot of men, the loneliness of not being in a relationship has fuelled my porn addiction, but also in turn caused my greater self consciousness in approaching women.
I've also begun to see the effects of excessive masturbation on my life. My attention span when reading has been getting shorter for some time now and doesn't help when you're studying a subject like History where you have to spend most days reading. I'm not going to lie, I'm like most men very conscious of the potential problems of shrinking penis size, ED and other physical effects of excessive masturbation.
So recently I've been trying to take a look at my life. I've been seeing a counseller about my anxiety, and I think it's getting better, I know it will never go away but slowly I'm learning to manage it. I've made the choice to try and go three weeks without masturbation before reviewing my situation (The last time I masturbated and looked at porn was last Friday). I'm wary of the choices I'm making, my perfectionism and my temptation to build this up in case I start developing unhealthy expectations of myself e.g.) that I should forever be some kind of completely chaste superman, because the fall out if I do cave will be so much worse if I do. I'm not commiting myself to never masturbating again realistically at some point in the future I will, but I want to feel I have greater control of it and would want to be free of my addiction to pornography, which I don't consider healthy.
(Phew - Sorry I know that was very long, waffly and hard going. But it feels good to be able to put it all out there openly after all this time. Thank you for your time)